Walk the Prague Jewish Quarter Tour for a unique perspective of the city with visits to the Old Jewish cemetery, Old-New Synagogue, Maisel Synagogue, Spanish Synagogue and Pinkas Synagogue.
- Tour Prague’s Jewish Town
- The Old Jewish Cemetery
- Old-New Synagogue
- Maisel Synagogue
- Spanish Synagogue
- Pinkas Synagogue
- Old Jewish Town Hall
Take a time journey as you learn about Prague’s Jewish history. Several significant places like the Old Jewish Cemetery, the Old-New Synagogue, the Maisel Synagogue, the Spanish Synagogue and the Pinkas Synagogue will be visited during this walking tour. See the only Jewish city in central Europe–the quarter that survived the Holocaust.
We will start with a walk through the Old Jewish Cemetery. In the first half of the 15th century, the Old Jewish cemetery was created. Its earliest sepulcher (from 1439) marks the poet and scholar Avigdor Kara’s grave.
Rabbi Liwa ben Bezalel, also known as a Rabbi Löw, is the most prominent individual buried here. We will then visit the Old-New Synagogue (Europe’s oldest working synagogue), Maisel Synagogue, Spanish Syngagoue, and Pinkas Synagogue.
We will then walk down Maiselova Street to get to Old Town Square.
Stary zidovsky Hrbitov
The Old Jewish Cemetery is one of the world’s oldest surviving Jewish cemeteries, and it is the most important site in Prague’s Jewish Town, along with the Old-New Synagogue. It is one of the top ten cemeteries to visit in the world, according to National Geographic. In the early half of the 15th century, it was founded. The first tombstone was erected in 1439, and the last burial was 348 years later.
Despite repeated expansions over the ages, the cemetery was never large enough to suit the needs of the Jewish Town. Due to a lack of space, bodies were piled on top of one another, with graves stacked up to ten deep. The cemetery has over 12,000 tombstones, many of which are adorned with animal and plant patterns.
Pinkas Synagogue, Jewish Museum in Prague
The Pinkas Synagogue is Prague’s second-oldest surviving synagogue. It was founded by Aaron Meshulam Horowitz, a prominent member of the Prague Jewish Community, and named for his grandson, Rabbi Pinkas Horowitz, in the late Gothic style in 1535. It started out as a place of prayer for the Horowitz family, and it was close to a ritual bath (mikveh). In 1950-54, it was restored to its original state.
The Pinkas Synagogue was turned into a memorial to the almost 80,000 Jewish victims of the Holocaust in Bohemian lands between 1955 and 1960. It is the work of two painters, Václav Botk and Ji John, and is one of Europe’s first memorials. The memorial was closed to the public for more than 20 years after the Soviet invasion in 1968. Following the fall of the Communist administration in 1995, it was completely rebuilt and reopened to the public.
Klausen Synagogue, Jewish Museum in Prague
The Klausen Synagogue is the largest synagogue in the Jewish Quarter of Prague. The name “Klausen” was originally given to three minor structures on this site dating from the 16th century. The great Rabbi Loew founded a yeshivah (Talmudic school) among these structures. Following the ghetto fire of 1689, the Klausen Synagogue was built in the early Baroque style on the same site in 1694. It was the second primary synagogue of the Prague Jewish Community, and it housed a number of renowned rabbis. The Prague Burial Society also used it as a place of worship.
On the basis of a privilege granted by Emperor Rudolf II, the Maisel synagogue was built in 1592. Mordecai Maisel, the Mayor of Prague’s Jewish Town, founded it. It was once a Renaissance temple with three naves, which was rare for its day. It was built by Judah Tzoref de Herz and Josef Wahl. The synagogue was destroyed in the 1689 ghetto fire and rebuilt multiple times. Prof. A Grotte gave it its current Neo-Gothic form between 1893 and 1905.
This concludes our 3-Hour Prague Jewish Quarter Tour.
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